The Centenary Copa America is upon us as the quarter final pairings have already been decided.The Copa America is played by the teams in the American continent which include the North and South America. Normally, they play their tournaments differently namely the CONCACAF for the North Americans and the COPA AMERICA for the South Americans but because this is the centenary celebration, it is being played together to probably find the overall winner. Therefore, we take a look at the overall winners of the ‘AMERICAN’ most coveted Copa America and Concacaf trophy;
1.URUGUAY – 15 COPA TROPHIES
Uruguay are frequently South American champions, most recently having won the 2011 Copa América. Uruguay have won the Copa América a record 15 times. The team has twice won the FIFA World Cup, including the first World Cup in 1930 as hosts, defeating Argentina 4–2 in the final. They won their second title in 1950, upsetting hosts Brazil 2–1 in the final match, which received an attendance higher than any football match ever.
They have won the Gold Medals in football at the Summer Olympics twice, in 1924 and 1928, before the creation of the World Cup. Uruguay also won the 1980 Mundialito, a tournament among former World Cup champions. In total, Uruguay have won 20 official titles, a world record for the most international titles held by any country.
Their success is amplified by the fact that the nation has a very small population of around 3.4 million inhabitants (2011 est.). Uruguay is by far the smallest country in the world to have won a World Cup in terms of population, 1.75 million inhabitants in 1930. The second-smallest country, by population, to have won the World Cup is Argentina with a population of nearly 28 million people in 1978. Uruguay is also the smallest country ever to win any World Cup medals; only five nations with a currently smaller population than Uruguay’s have ever participated in any World Cup: Northern Ireland (three times), Slovenia (twice), Wales, Jamaica and Trinida and Tobago. Uruguay is also the smallest nation to win Olympic gold medals in any team sport.
2.ARGENTINA – 14 COPA TROPHIES
Known as the Albicelestes (sky blue and whites), has appeared in five World Cup finals, including the first final in 1930, which they lost, 4–2, to Uruguay. Argentina won in their next final appearance in 1978, beating the Netherlands at extra time, 3–1. Argentina, led by Diego Maradona won again in 1986, a 3–2 victory over West Germany. They again made the World Cup finals in 1990, and lost, 1–0, to West Germany following a controversial penalty call in the 87th minute. Argentina made their fifth appearance in a World Cup final in 2014, again losing to Germany, 1–0 during extra-time. Argentina’s World Cup winning managers are César Luis Menotti in 1978, and Carlos Bilardo in 1986.
Argentina has been very successful in the Copa América, winning it 14 times and also winning the ‘extra’ South American Championships in 1941, 1945 and 1946. The team also won the FIFA Confederations Cup and the Kirin Cup, both in 1992, and the Argentine olympic team won the Olympics football tournaments in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.Argentina and France are the only two national teams that have won the three most important men’s titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Olympic tournament. They have both also won their respective continental championship (Copa América for Argentina, and UEFA European Championship for France).
Argentina is known for having rivalries with Brazil, Uruguay, England and Germany due to historic occurrences with one another throughout football history. Argentina also won six of the 14 football competitions at the Pan American Games, winning in 1951, 1955, 1959, 1971, 1995 and 2003.
3.MEXICO – 10 CONCACAF TROPHIES
Mexico has qualified to fifteen World Cups and has qualified consecutively since 1994, making it one of six countries to do so. The Mexican national team, along with Brazil and Germany, are the only nations to make it out of the group stage over the last six World Cups. Mexico played France in the very first match of the first World Cup on 13 July 1930. Mexico’s best progression in World Cups has been reaching the quarter-finals in both the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, both of which were staged on Mexican soil.
Mexico is historically the most successful national team in the CONCACAF region, having won ten confederation titles, including seven CONCACAF Gold Cups and three CONCACAF Championships (the precursor to the Gold Cup), as well as three NAFC Championships, one North American Nations Cup, and one CONCACAF Cup. Mexico is the only team from CONCACAF to have won an official FIFA competition, winning the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. Although Mexico is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF, the national team has been regularly invited to compete in the Copa América since 1993, finishing runner-up twice – in 1993 and 2001 – and obtaining the third-place medal on three occasions.
4.BRAZIL – 8 COPA TROPHIES
They have been a member of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) since 1923 and member of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) since 1916. Brazil is the only national team to have played in all FIFA World Cup editions without any absence nor need for playoffs. The seleção is also the most successful national team in the FIFA Confederations Cup with four titles: 1997, 2005, 2009 and 2013, being the holder of the last title of the tournament. Brazil have won a total of 62 official international titles to professional and grassroots level selections, what constitutes an unparalleled world record. Brazil is the only national team to have won the World Cup on four different continents: once in Europe (1958 Sweden), once in South America (1962 Chile), twice in North America (1970 Mexico and 1994 United States) and once in Asia (2002 Korea/Japan). They also share with Spain a record of 35 consecutive official matches undefeated.
5.USA – 5 CONCACAF TROPHIES
They are controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). The team has appeared in ten FIFA World Cups and hosted the 1994 edition. They achieved their best result when they reached the semi-final at the 1930 World Cup, finishing third; this remains the joint highest finish of any team outside of the UEFA (European) and CONMEBOL (South American) confederations. After qualifying for the 1934 World Cup, and withdrawing in 1938, the next World Cup participation came at the 1950 tournament, causing an upset by defeating England 1–0 in its second group match. After 1950, the U.S. did not qualify for the World Cup again until 1990.
Following the 1990 World Cup, the U.S. qualified automatically as hosts of the 1994 World Cup, eventually losing to Brazil in the round of sixteen. The team has qualified for all five World Cups since, reaching the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where it lost to Germany 1–0. In 2009 it finished runner-up at the Confederations Cup, eliminating top-ranked Spain 2–0 in the semi-finals before losing to Brazil 3–2 in the final.